Milestone Alert: Noah Takes His First Steps!

As some of you (especially those of you follow our story on Facebook) may remember about a year ago Noah took his first steps! I was lucky enough to not be there 🙁 I was hanging out with my family in Colorado for a brief visit so of course Noah thought that was a good time to try out this major milestone. Thanks to technology I was able to witness it via FaceTime, and over and over again thanks to video.

The Journey Towards Learning How To Walk

when does child with down syndrome walk

Noah’s first steps!!!!

I have realized walking is definitely a journey and not a firm milestone that all of a sudden happens one day. We are not going to claim Noah as a walker on this day, he is actually has a little ways to go before making that declaration. However, so many activities have led to this awesome moment and we will celebrate it. We have been working on his core strength practically since he was born which is essential in all milestones. He has gone from sitting to pulling up to stand, to crawling and then creeping.  He has been strengthening his legs as well.  He have also been working on the treadmill helping him learn the pattern of walking.

Stages Of Walking

down syndrome first steps

Walking? Nah, I’d rather do the splits instead….

Noah has been going through the stages of pre-walking as well. He will walk while holding two hands and will cruise along furniture. He is also a big fan of push toys. Today Noah is doing what I would call controlled falling and Patricia Winders refers to as lunging steps. At this time he is not quite strong enough to walk while holding one hand only, he is also not standing up on his own without support.

We have talked about how Noah does not like to bend his legs and that is one reason he is not able to stand on his own in the middle of a room. I don’t see Noah really walking on his own until he is able to do this important step. He will stand without support once he is placed in that position, but the kid fall right on over when he tries to get to that position on his own. You can see that Noah does not have a lot of balance and he is basically falling forward while taking steps at the same time and lunging towards his destination. He gets pretty excited and his head movements are not helping him either.

Motivators For Helping A Child Born With Down Syndrome Learn To Walk

A good way to practice lunging steps is to find the right motivator. Noah is a mover and he is definitely motivated to get from one place to another especially if that location contains an awesome toy or in this case an awesome parent. Finding the right motivator for your child will help encourage them to move from one place to the other. Putting a motivator on a couch and having your child lunge towards that or having them lunge between parents help practice this skill. It helps them get used to the feeling of going forward and eventually catching themselves with their feet so that they will continue on towards walking.

As you can tell form the joyous screaming by my husband in today’s video, we are super proud of our little boy!

Is your child walking yet? If so how old was your child when they took their first steps? What did it look like? (Bonus points for sharing a video / picture in the comments below.)

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  1. amy folkerts says

    love the video! It reminds me of when our own itty-bitty took his first steps. Luke took lunging steps at just shy of three and became a steady walker after using a posterior walker at three and a half. He walked by himself at last years “step up for down syndrome” walk. We were so proud!

  2. I don’t have a child with Downs, rather with Spina Bifida. We honestly didn’t know if he would walk at all. He too took an unconventional path to walking. He became a “super” crawler, could crawl faster than I could walk. Then, when he was about 18 months, he completely surprised me by walking across the room. Unsteadily, but w/o support. I was on the phone & screamed in my friends ear! By the end of that day, he was RUNNING everywhere! I guess he just didn’t want to walk until he was ready. Because we were involved in developmental play groups, I
    can say with firm knowledge… every child I knew with Downs did walk and did become potty trained (something my son was not able to achieve despite the bowel programs etc). So don’t ivve up!

  3. Emma Feeney says

    When did Noah smile for first time? My little girl is nearly 3 months & she has the occasional smile but not properly (she has DS too) I am worried. Em

    • Hi Emma–
      Just wanted to jump in and say our little boy, Way, did not smile until he was 6 months and it took him longer to give truly social smiles. Our eye dr. Talked to us about him not truly being able to focus due to some nystagmus (sp?) So, your little girl may have some of that, or not, but Way smiles up a storm now! It’s hard to wait for those smiles, but they will come and are truly worth the wait! Hope that eases some concerns a tad!

    • Hi Emma–
      Just wanted to jump in and say our little boy, Way, did not smile until he was 6 months and it took him longer to give truly social smiles. Our eye dr. Talked to us about him not truly being able to focus due to some nystagmus (sp?) So, your little girl may have some of that, or not, but Way smiles up a storm now! It’s hard to wait for those smiles, but they will come and are truly worth the wait! Hope that eases some concerns a tad!

  4. I love how much you encourage Noah! It almost brings tears to my eyes!

    Thank you for sharing your story. I love how enthusiastic you are with Noah

    Question: Are you and your wife Christians or practicing Jews?


    • So it means just Christians or practicing Jews can encourage…. I guess we all are first Human being. Arn’t we?

      • Akbar Ghobakhlou says

        Indeed we are human being above and beyond our personal believes. Keep you minds wide open 🙂 Thank you Noha’s parents for this site, it is so inspiring.

  5. My little girl with DS took her first steps yesterday at 15 and half months.I am over the moon.Still its long way to be an independant walker.Still she can not stand in the middle of a room.Huge thank you to noah’s dad.we live in a country without proper therapy services.Thank you for your post about tredmill. it was a big help for her.

  6. She does not have a sibling. She is our is scary to think about a day without us….but we are determined to do our best until then. Again thank you so much for taking your time to maintain a web site like this. I am sure you are reaching and inspiring parents like us from every corner of the world.

  7. lam just inspired and encouraged with Noa’s Dad you dont know how sharing ure son’s milestone gives us hope Noa started teething with how many months my son is 11months he has not started sitting nor teething but l believe its because of my invironment there are no therapy and it took doctors 7months to tell me my son has DS Please anyone with infomation with how lcan help my son to do normal things please advice

    • Hi Rose,
      My son also has DS and didn’t cuthis first tooth until he was 16 months. He’s now 26 months and has just cut his 12th tooth so we still have a ways to go! It will come eventually, just give it time!

  8. LOVE the video! GO Noah!

    Reminds me of videos I got of my daughter Etta (5, Ds) taking her first steps- (this is our old site, but it has a lot of videos on it, so I can’t bring myself to delete it)-

    For some reason, she always wanted our kitchen drawers (and doors) shut. So, we would intentionally leave them pulled out so that she would pull herself up to close them. One day, she turned toward me and took a step! It was GAME ON after that!

  9. My daughter bethany is 17 months old with ds she is not crawling or walking she sarting sitting at 14 months old but held her head from 3 months and was smiling at 4 months she got her first tooth this month and another 2 popped up in the last week and is always so happy and makes everyone smile and has her big brother who is 7 wrapped round her little finger

  10. Shes just adorable.

  11. I have a daughter with Down syndrome.she is about 22months and she can take 10 to 15 steps without any help.

  12. I follow Noah and his family daily…THey are amazing..two parents who love their matter what and thats all there is to it..they let Noah know that he can try anything and not to be afraid..Thats so wonderful..
    Now to the person who treated the couple with DS so rudely..This person is either just a rude moron with no class..or his parents never taught him that you treat others the way you wish to be treated and should have shown them respect..Did you feel good embarrassing them? Because you are the one that looks like boo boo the fool now..
    To the fellow that took his BF to the prom..You are such a wonderful young man..Not only sticking to a promise made to your Mom..but treating your BF with kindness, caring, respect and love..You will go far with your positive attitude and kind and caring heart..I just know you made it a night she will never forget 🙂
    God Bless you all for each of us needs his love and guidance..Try being kinder in your hearts to those who aren’t..What if someone was mean or hurt someone you loved..Also something to think about..accidents happen all the time..suppose you went from the person you are now to someone who couldn’t walk, talk or basically do anything for yourself..or if you learn to talk again..the words come out hesitantly making you sound funny..Would you want to be ridiculed..So sad for you..

  13. Theo Bey says

    I AM the grandmother who is raising a DS 17 Month old boy with my daughter. He crawls at high speed,has 6 teeth, smiles and plays hand games. I’m just frustrated that he doesn’t want to walk alone. My oldest grandson says that he is spoiled! When will this little man walk? Comment please! This is a first for me. I’m 70.

  14. I ve a 17 months old that has refused to walk,or even crawl it’s only turning from one end of the bed to d other end….he is ds I guess but I just need assurance that he will walk..

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